Why is interning so important?

By: Eric Ettorre | THG Fall Intern 2017

You’re a college student, taking 18 hours of class, interning 20 hours a week, and studying for nearly 16 hours. While it may feel as though you’re overcommitting yourself, being overcommitted has its benefits, as it helps you learn how to prioritize. More importantly, interning helps a student understand the real world and the market for new jobs, as well as what they might be interested in doing after graduation.

As you consider your next semester of class, consider an internship. Interning has been a great opportunity for me to hone my skills that I’ve learned in school. At The Herald Group, I have been given great opportunities to enhance my writing skills, something invaluable. Interning is important because it helps you to:

  • Understand your passions. You have the opportunity to explore, test things out. If you don’t like the internship, you don’t have to stay, but at least you know you tried something new. Even if a workplace isn’t the job for you, you still have learned some valuable life lessons that can be applied to all activities.
  • Expand your horizons. Having the opportunity to intern in multiple sectors largely broadens your knowledge base, but has also expanded my opportunities in the job search for after college. What you learn at internships transcends the internship itself. The knowledge is life knowledge and can be applied to anything, whether it’s handling a job interview or even something in your personal life.
  • Build your resume. Building a diverse resume is noteworthy for employers. They care and want to see what knowledge you can bring to their organization. My advice is to start diversifying your resume now. Look at other internship opportunities that are not within your major. For example, I am a double major in international affairs and Asian studies. When I was looking for internships over the summer, I looked at large Fortune 500 companies to get an idea of the “corporate world” structure here in the States. Then I moved toward Public Relation firms as I see PR becoming the new “lobby firm.” That’s how I ended up at The Herald Group. Having never studied anything about public relations and communications, I have been able to expand my knowledge to understand more about the PR sphere. Not only has it helped my writing, but it has also given me new perspectives when reading the newspaper every day and how to help clients.

The job market is getting increasing hard to enter. Having the opportunity to have hands on experience is valuable; it’s like a test drive. My opportunities have helped me land other internships, as well as build a foundation of skills for my future. Each new opportunity continues diversifies one’s skillset, which makes internships all the more important.